A small group of thoughtful people . . .

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.             Margaret Mead

Have you heard of Meetup? I believe they are doing just that – changing the world, I mean. 

Their mission statement is:

to revitalize local community and help people around the world self-organize. Meetup believes that people can change their personal world, or the whole world, by organizing themselves into groups that are powerful enough to make a difference.

Their stats are huge:

  • 6 million monthly visitors
  • 7.2 million members
  • 2.2 million monthly RSVPs
  • 46,000 meetup topics
  • 45,000 cities

A friend of a friend told me about Meetup, when I mentioned that I wanted to meet some new folks having recently moved back to a city I hadn’t lived in for 15 years. 

I decided to checked out the Meetup web page even though I am not much of a joiner, and found myself signing up and joining a Meetup group. Then, I ignored Meetup for a few months, until I could no longer justify not creating the life I wanted!  

I finally RSVP’d to an event and now, three months later, I am enjoying a book club brimming with interesting women, sipping coffee in multiple cafés, dancing the night away and meeting and making new friends, a few of whom now gather for coffee once a week on our own.

I think the best part of  Meetup is everyone starts from the same point – we are all looking for folks to meet and interesting things to do.

For those of you thinking, I could or would never do that, I completely understand. My guess is many people, who join feel exactly the same way – until they join, which is what makes the concept and process so cool. Meetup is changing the way people think and meet, which means the are changing the world.

Meetup offers something for everyone. Topics range from coffee lovers (33 in Glasgow, UK) to Cool Nerds, (835 in LA); Philosophers (400 in Austin, TX) to farmers  (1269 in Redlands, CA) and everything in between. 

On Meetup you can find someone, who likes to dance, cook, read, fly, hop, or climb. And, if you do not find the Meetup of your dream, you can start your own group!

And, if Meetup really is not for you, no problem, but you may enjoy reading the media coverage of interesting Meetup groups or about the Meetup staff.    

Meetup is a community of individuals, brave enough to take the risk that someone would want to connect with them around a common or creative idea or activity. Their actions then give millions of other folks a chance to reach out and meet someone. Meetup creates circles and cycles of courage, creativity and connection, I like that.

And, most Meetup groups are free or practically free to join. I like that, too.

I hope this weekend you get to meetup with folks you find interesting and fun whether you find them online, next door or in the next room.



P.S.  Next Friday is a special day for me. To celebrate, the first reader, who comments or emails me @ wishfulthinkingworks@gmail.com with the correct answer to why it is special will receive a copy of one of my favorite books “The Joy of Appreciative Living: Your 28-Day Plan to Greater Happiness in 3 Incredibly Easy Steps” by Jacqueline Kelm.

Take the OTAT Plunge in 2011

Quick review . . . last two weeks: 

Then I asked three questions, well, actually I asked two questions, the third item listed was a statement – my mistake. I corrected it below, and changed the first two questions!  Please answer the new ones below:

  1. What do you want to accomplish? (That’s your one thing.)
  2. Have you tried in the past to accomplish this goal? (Delaying or Denying)
  3. How long do you think it will take to accomplish your “one thing”?

1. What do you want to accomplish?

Okay, now that you have your one thing, state it as though it has already occurred.  Begin with:

“I am”  . . .  as in,  “I am so happy I am a non-smoker”; “I am excited I have a new job”; “I am so excited I registered for the GMAT”; “I am so pleased to be earning $______ annually”; “I am glad to be eating healthier” or “I am so happy I decided to ________”.  Create your intention in the present tense and make sure it is a positive statement vs I am glad I am no longer smoking, drinking, gambling, spending, shopping, etc. etc. The more descriptive you make your intention the better.

Please remember this process is about you. What you want – not your spouse, significant other, friends, boss, parent, etc. You, and only you, get to pick what area you want to focus on.

2. Create a gratitude related to your intention.

Now, find a way to be thankful for what you already have related to your intention.  If you want a new job, you could be thankful for the one you have, or if you do not have a job, for the one you had before, or the training or education you received in the past – dig deep if you have to, but write a gratitude, or two or three. Then savor them. Take a moment to think about them and the good they have brought into your life.

Believe it or not, this step can really flip that switch in your brain and light-up your future by helping you focus on what you have and what’s ahead.

3. Develop an action plan.

Okay, you knew this was coming . .  . make it measurable, specific and detailed.  (You can do it, no doubt in my mind.)

Remember this is about radical change in your life. Change involves action, and action is physical and interlaced, if not dependent, upon deadlines.  Create and keep them.

Make sure your action steps are relevant.  Ask yourself how they impact your intention.  If you can’t come up with a good answer, choose different action steps. 

Next, ask yourself,  if the steps are realistic and something you will stick to.  The key to success is being successful.  Huh?

What I mean is, if you really want change, select action steps that no matter how small will lead you in the right direction. Action itself is so key to the process that the value of small doable steps far outweighs long lists of  lofty, exciting, extremely difficult or unachievable steps. Yes, you want to stretch yourself, and yes, your steps should reflect that, but so many of us have an all or none mindset – we do nothing or create grandiose plans, and then throw in the towel the minute the going gets tough, which amounts to well, doing nothing. Doing nothing is not conducive to change. I don’t recommend it.

Keep asking yourself as you create your plan, “Is this step relevant and realistic?”  “Am I stretching myself enough and still leaving room for success?” And, then listen to your answers.  If you have tried working on this intention before and it hasn’t worked, why not?  (Question #2 above.) Figure out how to deal with that in your action steps. 

Put all these steps in writing and keep them in front of you everyday.  Find a way to weave them and the changes you are working on into your daily life. Send yourself messages, emails, letters, etc. as reminders. Find small ways to reward yourself along the way.  Tell others, who you trust, about your plan.  Cut out and post pictures.  Do whatever works for you. And, last and absolutely not least, do not let anyone, even those naysaying, nagging little voices we all carry around in our heads, talk you out of realizing your intention.

Okay, you are ready.  This is it!  2011. The year you get to say, ” I am ______________________”, and mean it – to savor and relish your success. 

So how long will this take?  Hmm, Question #3, the big one. I am suggesting a formula used by life coach, author and radio talk show host, David Essel. David developed and has successfully used the “One Thing” theory with his clients for years along with a timeline he swears by, which I am going to share with you. (I have used it myself, so that is a double-vouch for it.)

The “20/5/90” Formula

If you have selected a realistic intention that you truly care about and will radically impact your life; created a related atmosphere of gratitude; developed relevant, realistic, time-specific action steps, which you work on at least 20 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for 90 days – you will experience success.   

That means by April 1, of 2011, you will be reaping the rewards of starting an OTAT trend by setting and implementing one and only one New Year’s Resolution. Take the OTAT plunge. You can do it!  

New Year’s Day will be here before you know it, begin working on your plans today. Later this week, I will have an OTAT page under the Resources tab above, so all the details will be in one place.   

If you have questions or would like to use life coaching to help you make changes in your life, email me, Patrice Koerper at wishfulthinkingworks@gmail.com, and you will be on your way before the New Year.

OTAT, One Thing at a Time

OTAT, what’s that?

OTAT (pronounced oh-tat) is a revolutionary new trend sweeping the country – well, at least this blog and the lives of its wonderful readers.  OTAT is for the brave and the bold – just like you – who have decided to live their lives changing one thing at a time, and are starting this new trend by selecting one thing and one thing only for their New Year’s Resolution.

Why focus on one and only one thing when there are so many things you want to change in 2011?  

Because selecting one and only one thing dramatically increases your odds of achieving it by providing less wiggle room and more accountability. 

So how do you choose one thing when you have at least 2, if not 200 things you want to change?

Well, here’s what to do – and, as I mentioned the other day, I can’t claim this wonderful approach, the idea is that of  life coach and author David Essel, who has been using it for years to help people change their lives.

Your One Thing

  • What you are looking for, is the one thing that when accomplished, will radically change your life.
  • Keyword – R  A D I C A L L Y    
  • Hint: The “one thing” is usually something you have denied or delayed working on in the past.

Still here? (Some people bail when faced with the fact that they need to work on something they have ignored in the past, but you didn’t, that’s great. I guarantee the rewards will be worth the effort.)

Here’s how.

Find some quiet time and a quiet place for yourself – you will need about 15 minutes. (Hard to do, yes I know, but please find a way; you are worth it.)

Bring two pieces of 8-1/2 x 11 pieces paper and a pen or pencil with you.  

Take a few deep breaths to clear your head and relax yourself a bit. (You know those deep in-through-the-nose, fill your-lungs-and-stomach kind of deep breaths.) 

Okay, good, now write a vertical list of the following bold words. The order is up to you, and please leave more space than I have between the items:

  • Financial (Income, expenses, etc.)
  • Career (Education, profession, job satisfaction, etc.)
  • Health (Exercise, smoking, eating well, etc.)
  • Relationship with others (Love, family time, forgiveness, new friends, etc.)
  • Relationship with self (Emotional leftovers, kindness, forgiveness, etc.)
  • Spiritual (However you perceive it.)

Now, do the next steps quickly and go with your first thought in each step.

  1. Read the list.
  2. Flip the paper over.
  3. Think about the words you just wrote, and select the first three topics from the list that come to mind.
  4. Flip the paper over and circle those three items.
  5. Flip the paper over again to the blank side, and write one of the items you just circled.
  6. That’s your one thing.
  7. Simple, yes. Scientific, maybe not. Honest, pretty much without a doubt.

Congratulations on picking your one thing.  Job well done!

So why did you pick that topic? 

I don’t know. You may know, or like many folks, you may be surprised [That’s the denial part, I can be big on that :-).] Either way, take a few minutes to jot down ideas and thoughts about this area of your life. Write anything that comes to mind under this topic. Do not censor your thoughts, write all of them – good, bad, ugly. Then answer these questions:

  1. Have you tried to accomplish change in this area of you life in the past, and if so, what did the process feel like to you?
  2. Did you experience any success, if so what? How did that feel?
  3. Write down any new thoughts these questions bring up for you. Use your second sheet of paper, if you need it.

Whatever you do, do not go back and pick another topic. (That’s the delaying part.) You picked this one thing  for a reason, and either you already know why addressing an issue related to this topic will radically change your life, or you will figure it out after writing and thinking about it. (That’s the brave and bold part.)

Please spend a few more minutes flushing-out your thoughts, and next Monday, and every Monday for the rest of this year, I will show you how to turn your one thing into your future.

In the meantime, Friday to be exact, I will tell you about a new television program that used a scientific approach to happiness to transform the lives of eight unhappy folks down-under and captured the attention of  hundred of thousands of Australians.

Kettle Corn Wednesdays

I love carnivals and county fairs so this summer I have been celebrating the season with Kettle Corn Wednesdays; I have been posting a question that can enrich your life, making Wednesday’s posts short and sometimes salty – because some of the questions pose a bit of a challenge and may leave a tangy taste in your mouth, and sweet because that is what awareness and change can feel like – sweeeeeet! 

Here is today’s . . .

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?  

Sure, even as a kid.

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

Take your time. We are in no hurry, go ahead, think about it.

What is the bravest thing you have ever done?

Yes, of course, that counts.

Next question:  “Have you acknowledged to yourself how brave you were? 

If not, please take a moment to do so.  We will wait.  If you have already acknowledged your bravery, take a moment to savor it.

Mmm, that felt good.

Man, now I want a candy apple, too.

Short and salty, and then sweet

A minor and oh, so wonderful summer change to my blog . . . 

 . . .  Wednesdays will now feature one short and salty, then sweet question for you. 

Short – because the questions are (relative to a longer post).

Salty –  because the taste of change can be a tad sharp and a bit tangy.  (That’s the challenge of it, don’t you just love a good challenge?  Ah, that’s not today’s question.) 

And, then sweet – because that is how change tastes once it has been accomplished – sweeeeeet!

I shall call it the SSTS factor, because I like naming things and I love the idea of factors (I even like the phonetic description of the word “fktr”):

fac·tor (fktr) n.
1. One that actively contributes to an accomplishment, result, or process.
a. One who acts for someone else; an agent.
b. A person or firm that accepts accounts receivable as security for short-term loans.
3. Mathematics One of two or more quantities that divides a given quantity without a remainder. For example, 2 and 3 are factors of 6; a and b are factors of ab.
4. A quantity by which a stated quantity is multiplied or divided, so as to indicate an increase or decrease in a measurement: The rate increased by a factor of ten.
5. Physiology: A substance that functions in a specific
biochemical reaction or bodily process, such as blood coagulation. 

To determine or indicate explicitly the factors of. Phrasal Verb: factor in

To me, factor is a noun that denotes action. I like that.

Today’s question is (Please read as though you are really asking yourself the question, and honest answers are the way to go here.):

Where have I projected resistance rather than face a change?  (Now, try it again with a bit more feeling and emphasis on the words underlined below.)

Where have I projected resistance rather than face a change? (Okay, that was good, we are almost to the point of being honest with ourselves. Oh, and projecting resistance may include, but is not limited to, being defensive, dismissive, distant, jealous, judgemental, etc. One more time . . . )

Where have I projected resistance rather than face a change? (By now, if we are being honest, at least one horribly wonderful thought has popped into our heads. Horrible – because it was hard to admit or acknowledge; wonderful because now we can change it.)


Well, I had a long list of responses and I must admit, some additional low-grade resistance, “Hey it’s not all my fault; They . . .; He . . .; Well, at least I . . .; Yeah, well she could have . . ., but now I am just going to accept the stupid, I mean the list. 

Truth is, I have projected resistance toward a number of things I really do want to change. Pretty salty stuff. Can’t wait for the sweet part.

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